D-FTSI - TF-871
TF-51D-25-NA 44-73871 TF-871
Serial number
Construction n°
Paint Scheme
Based at
MaxAlpha Aviation GmbH
Bremgarten airfield
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Airframe history

P-51 44-73871 was directly delivered to the USAAF in late 1944. In December of 1950 she made the trip across the border towards Canada, where she became part of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) as 9245.

During WWII, Canada had 5 squadrons equipped with Mustangs: N° 400, 414 & 430 flew Mustang Mk Is and N° 441 & 442 flew the Mk III and IVas.

After the war, an additional 130 P-51D model Mustangs were purchased from the US. The first 32 aircraft were delivered in June of 1947. Two more followed in July, 5 in October of 1950, 25 in November of 1950 and another 25 in December of 1950. The rest, 43 aircraft, followed during the first 3 months of 1951.
Serial numbers were allocated in two blocks: 9221 to and including 9300 and 9551 to and including 9600.

They served in 2 regular fighter squadrons and 6 auxiliary fighter squadrons:

400 (Auxiliary)
401 (Auxiliary)
402 (Auxiliary)
403 (Auxiliary)
411 (Auxiliary)
416 (Regular)
420 (Auxiliary)
421 (Regular)
424 (Auxiliary)
438 (Auxiliary)
442 (Auxiliary)
443 (Auxiliary)
"City of Toronto"
"City of Westmount"
"City of Winnipeg"
"City of Calgary"
"County of York"
"City of London"
"Red Indian"
"City of Hamilton"
"City of Montreal "
"City of Vancouver"
"City of New Westminster"
Toronto, Ontario
St. Hubert, Montréal
Winnipeg, Manitoba
Calgary, Alberta
Toronto, Ontario
Uplands, Ontario
London, Ontario
Bagotville, Montréal
Hamilton, Ontario
St. Hubert, Montréal
Vancouver, British Columbia
Vancouver, British Columbia

The RCAF Mustang serial numbers were allocated in two blocks, 9221 to 9300 inclusive and 9551 to 9600 inclusive.

RCAF 9245 served with No. 416 (F) Squadron at RCAF Station Uplands, Ontario in 1951 and 1952.  It then moved to RCAF Station Trenton, Ontario. It was struck off charge with the RCAF on May 2nd , 1956.

After it's service with the RCAF it was reported crated at Whiteman Air Park, California for shipment to Israel in 1959. It presumably served with the Israeli Defence Air Force (IDFAF), but there are no official records supporting this theory. However, in 1964, the owner of the plane was listed as “Israel Aircraft Industries”, so the aircraft must have definitely resided there during this time.

On June 22nd , 1964, it was sold to Pioneer Aero Service in Burbank, California, at which time the Mustang was reregistered as N7098V. In September of 1970, the aircraft changed owners again, this time to Cavalier Aircraft in Florida. It is not known if the aircraft was converted to a Cavalier Mustang and if so, what the exact changes were.

In 1978 the Mustang was sold to Albert McKinley. In 1990, the next owner became Elmer Ward of Pioneer Aero Service, who put the airframe up for restoration. During her restoration, it was decided to convert het into a TF-51 dual-control Mustang.
She made the first post-restoration flight in 1991 in her new paintscheme “TF-871”.

In 1991 she made her first overseas trip to Europe when she was passed on to Doug Arnold of Warbirds of Great Britain, based at Biggin Hill. She made her first flight over European soil on March 19th , 1992.

Only 4 years later, this Mustang made a trip back to the US, this time to new owner Ice Strike Corporation, based at Dover, Delaware on February 22nd , 1996. In September of that same year, she again had a new owner, Mustang Air Incorporate, at Wilmington, Delaware. It was there when she got the name “Stephanie”, which was later changed to “Miss Stephanie” and later on again to “Dream Girl”.

In 2006, she was again put up for sale and in late 2008, she made a second overseas trip to Europe, to German based owner MeierMotors. She also acquired the german registration D-FTSI.

The plane is nowadays used for training flights for other P-51 Mustang pilots. The new owner of another German P-51,
D-FPSI “Lucky Lady VII”, took his training lessons with 44-73871.

At present day, the owner of TF-871 is MaxAlpha Aviation GmbH, also based at Bremgarten airfield.

Date Registry Owner






44-73871 9245


Delivered from NAA plant at Inglewood, California to the USAAF
To the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) from December 6th
Served with No. 416 (F) Squadron at RCAF Station Uplands, Ontario
Moved to RCAF Station Trenton, Ontario. It was struck off charge with the RCAF on May 2nd , 1956
Reported crated at Whiteman Air Park, California, bound for Israel
Served with IDFAF?
Owned by Israel Aircraft industries
With Pioneer Aero Service, Burbank, California, from June 22nd
To Cavalier Aircraft Company, Sarasota, Florida on September 8th
To Albert McKinley of Hillsboro, Ohio on August 14th
Sold to Elmer Ward of Pioneer Aero Service, restoration at Chino, California, as a TF-51D in the markings of post WWII USAF TF-51 “TF-871”
First post-restoration flight
To Doug Arnold of Warbirds Of Great Britain Ltd, Biggin Hill, United Kingdom
First flight over UK on March 19th
To Ice Strike Corporation, Dover, Delaware on February 22nd
To Mustang Air Inc., Wilmington, Delaware. Named “Stephanie”, later “Miss Stephanie” and “Dream Girl”
Put up for sale
Made trip overseas when it was acquired by MeierMotors, Bremgarten, Germany
Owned by MaxAlpha Aviation GmbH, Bremgarten airfield, Freiburg, Germany

Paintscheme information

This particular TF-51 is painted in the post WWII USAF paint scheme, which was natural metal or a light grey paint with a large “buzz-number” painted on each side of the fuselage. It also wears the new US National Insignia, which saw the addition of a red bar in January of 1947.

The National Insignia is displayed on both sides of the fuselage and on the top left and bottom right wing. Capital block letters “USAF” are displayed on the bottom left and top right wing.

The markings “U.S. AIR FORCE” are displayed on both sides of the vertical tail fin, just above the radio call letter.

From P to F

Initially part of the United States Army , the USAF was formed as a separate branch of the military on September 18 th 1947 under the National Security Act of 1947 The Act created the United States Department of Defense , which was composed of three subordinate departments, namely the Department of the Army, the Department of the Navy and a newly-created Department of the Air Force.

Directly after WWII, the USAAF consolidated its wartime combat force and selected the P-51 Mustang as a “standard” piston-engine fighter. Other types were either withdrawn from service or given substantially reduced roles. As more advanced jet fighters such as the P-80 and P-84 arrived on the scene, the P-51 Mustang was also relegated to secondary status.

In 1947, the newly formed USAF Strategic Air Command employed P-51 Mustangs alongside F-6 Mustangs and F-82 Twin Mustangs due to their range capabilities.

In 1948, the “P” for “Pursuit” was changed to “F” for “Fighter”, thus designating all Mustangs to F-51s, more specific:
•  F-51B, formerly P-51B
•  F-51D, formerly P-51D
•  F-51K, formerly P-51K
•  TF-51D, formerly TP-51D ( factory converted, 2-seater, dual control conversion trainer, armed)
•  RF-51D , formerly FP-51D, which in turn formerly was the F-6D photo reconnaissance version, 2 cameras in rear fuselage, armed)
•  RF-51K, formerly FP-51K, which in turn formerly was the F-6K photo reconnaissance version, 1 camera in rear fuselage, armed)
•  TRF-51D, which was the RF-51D 2-seater conversion photo reconnaissance version

The Mustangs remained in service with the USAF from 1946 through 1951. By 1950, the majority of the Mustangs had been surplussed or transferred to the Air Force Reserves (AFRES) and the Air National Guard (ANG).

National Insignia

The national insignia has been displayed on the side of USAAF and later USAF aircraft since 1916. Changes in the design, size, color and location of the insignia have been the result of technical advances, mission changes and combat experience.

The first national marking was a five-pointed red star on the rudder or a variant of the red star within a white circle. Prior to WWI, Army aircraft had no official national insignia. The first design was a white star with a red center on a blue field and was placed on the top of the upper wing and the bottom of the lower wing.

Objections in 1918 by Col. William “Billy” Mitchell resulted in the adoption of a new design for easier recognition in combat in Europe. Three concentric circles were user, similar to the insignia of Britain and France, but with a different color sequence (from middle to outer circle the colors were white, blue and red). One month later, the sequence of rudder stripe colors was also altered with the blue placed at the rear and the red at the rudder post.

In May of 1919, use of the Star-in-Circle design was resumed on all U.S. military aircraft. The rudder marking also changed with blue at the rudder post.

In 1940, changes for camouflaged aircraft were adopted. The national insignia was removed from the lower left and upper right wingtips as a recognition aid, eliminating any advantage the balanced pattern of marking would have given to enemy gunners as an aiming point. This unbalanced pattern was later adopted for all USAAF aircraft. Also in 1940, the national insignia was added to each side of the fuselage. Nationality markings on the rudder were eliminated in 1940 from camouflaged aircraft and in 1942 from all other AAF planes.

In 1942, the underwing “U.S. ARMY” marking was discontinued and the first major change in 25 years in the “Star-in-Circle” design was made. To reduce possible confusion with the Japanese Hinomaru ("Meatball") insignia, the red center was ordered removed from the star. A yellow border surrounding the national insignia was used briefly beginning in late 1942 on some USAAF aircraft based in England and North Africa

On June 29th , 1943, the insignia underwent a second major change. A white rectangle or bar was added on each side of the blue circle with a red border surrounding the entire insignia. While the new design was estimated to be 60 percent more recognizable, the use of the red border was short lived.

On the final World War II national insignia, adopted on August 14th , 1943, the red border was replaced with one of blue. This change eliminated red from the national insignia until after WWII.

On January 14th , 1947, the USAD adopted a new design of the insignia. Horizontal red bars were added to the white blocks on either side of the circle. This basic design remains in use today on most USAF aircraft, albeit mostly in the low-visibility version.

What's the buzz?

Another practice adopted by the USAF after WWII through the early 1960s, was the addition of a so-called “buzz-number”. The buzz-number consisted of a large two-letter and three-number combination which was applied to both sides of the fuselage and on the underside the wing.

They were applied for general aerial identification of aircraft, but particularly for the identification of aircraft guilty of "buzzing" (very-low-altitude high-speed passes) over populated areas.

The first two letters of a buzz number indicated the type and designation of an aircraft while the last three were generally the last 3 digits of the aircraft serial number. Air Force fighters used buzz numbers starting with the letter F (or P, when fighters were designated as "pursuit" aircraft before June 1948), whilst the second letter indicated the aircraft type (for P-51 Mustangs this was also an “F”).

The three numbers were the last three digits of the aircraft serial number.

In the case of D-FTSI, the TF-871 stands for “Trainer”, “P-51 Mustang” and the last three digits of the serial number

  We can put the timeframe of the paint scheme on D-FTSI somewhere between 1947 en 1950:

  • The markings only state TF-871, no reference to AFRES or ANG, so it would indicate as to being in service with the actual USAF
  • It wears the post 1947 design of the National Insignia, sporting the horizontal red bars

Pictures of D-FTSI TF-871



Walkaround pictures of D-FTSI TF-871


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